View Full Version : FM2006: "Mine eyes have seen the Glory".. USA's race for WC2010.
11-28-2005, 05:44 AM
If you've been reading my "Glory Glory Revolution" game, I've been offered the USA job at the end of 2008, and will attempt to guide them to World Cup 2010, in South Africa.
I will keep the Revs in that thread, and chronicle the USA's play in this thread.. to let you know how we're doing. Since even in the BUSIEST year ever, we will have less then 20 games, I will attempt to report USA happenings in a more detailed way then in my Revs dynasty.
First up, is the North American Gold Cup. Held every two years, it acts as our continental championship (like the European one), with 11 North American teams and one guest team (usually Brazil). The best North American team gets to go to the Confederations Cup. The USA lost to Brazil in the 2007 Gold Cup final, and thus qualified for the 2009 Confederations Cup, this summer.
There are four groups of three.. the first stage is a two game group stage, you play the other two teams in your group.. so an upset could leave you high and dry at this stage. The good news is, however that the top TWO teams from each group qualify. Here's the group breakdown.
Group A: Anguilla, Costa Rica, El Salvador: Pretty much, in the group stage, there's two semi decent teams and a minnow. Anguilla's the minnow here.
Group B: Bahamas, Honduras, USA: We'll probably be facing old friend Khano Smith (Bermuda) in this group, but we should qualify easily. Honduras does have a lot to play for, however, they were shocked by Saint Kitts & Nevis 3-2 on aggregate in the first round of World Cup Qualifying, and won't be heading to South Africa.
Group C: Belize, Mexico, Puerto Rico: Rather easy draw for Los Tricolores, as Belize and Puerto Rico are both wheat before the scythe that is Mexican soccer.
Group D: Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada: The question is, can the two other teams in the group hold Brazil down to less then 10 goals in the two games?
11-28-2005, 05:55 AM
2009 Status of the US Roster:
Goalies:Tim Howard (Starter), Brad Guzan, Tom Almadon
(Also in the Pool:Jon Busch, DJ Countess, Adin Brown, Quentin Westburg)
Howard plays for Middlesborough, he just joined them this season after being stuck on the bench for several years at Manchester United, having a good year, 8 games, 6 goals allowed, 5 clean sheets (Shutouts), 7.63). The 29 year old is valued at his purchase price, $5.25 Million
Guzan moved this year from Chivas USA to Denmark's FC Kobenhaven for $3.8 million. He has 16 clean sheets in 25 games for them, Now valued at $1.3 million, but the tall rangy (6'4") goalie is undervalued at that price. Only 24.
Almadon, well there will be some screaming from Isreal when he plays for us, he had 20 caps for Isreal's U21 team, and plays for Maccabi Haifa, currently injured, and valued at $130K, but has all the tools, and 24, will get better in time.. which is why if he's fit for the gold cup, I'm going to give him a USA cap, and lock him in with us :)
Depth is not really quite there beyond them, we have the usual retreads and wannabes in the Pool behind them.. this position is strong, but it's nowhere near the glory days of Friedel and Keller (both retired after WC 2006, where the US went out in the first round by goal differential)
11-28-2005, 06:23 AM
(I'm going to try to do as much as I can before I'm too exhausted to continue)
Defense: Cory Gibbs, Oguchi Onyewu, Jonathan Spector, Michael Parkhurst (all starters), Steven Cherundolo, Carlos Bocanegra, Chad Marshall, John O'Brien, Pablo Mastroeni
(Also In the Pool: Tim Ward (U23), Nik Besagno (U20), Sasha Victorine, Matt Gibson, and some Half Welsh-Half American bloke named Marc Vaughan)
Gibbs plays for German Bundesliga team Frankfurt. Has played for us 22 times, quite possibly will be his last go round, as he will be 33 for the 2014 WC. He's valued at $2.1 Million.
Onyewu plays for Turkish side Besiktas, and the 26 year old already has 24 caps, and looks to be the strong rock in defense we will need, and he could have another go round in him, as he will only be 31 for 2014. Valued at $3.5 Million
Spector is kinda puzzling to me. He signed at the end of the last French season with French Ligue 1 side Bordeaux in a fairly big money transfer, ($3.9 Million), but only has played 8 games for Bordeaux and just got put on the transfer list (for $4 million). Still, quite dependable, if a vagabond (At 22, he's played for: ManYoo, Ipswich, Newcastle (Did quite well there), Lubeck, and now Bordeaux. Has 12 caps.
Parkhurst is a former Rev, and he's done well for his new side, Birmingham City. Only has two caps, but is 24, and probably will get many starts on the right side of defense for us. Already has 18 appearances for the EPL team, and is valued at $3.5 million.
Cherundolo plays for German Second Division side Borussia Monchengladbach, who are currently fourth in the table. Has already played 21 times for them. The 29 year old has 44 caps for us already.. it might be 60 by the time 2009 is through.. Valued at $675K
Bocanegra never really lived up to the promise he showed for Fulham, but is a quite solid defender, has 48 caps and 6 USA Goals. He currently plays for Austrian Bundesliga side GAK, which are 2nd in the table after 20 games. Valued at $220K.
Marshall just joined Swedish side Malmo FF in the swedish off season (they start play in February), in a transfer worth $3.7 million, from FC Kobenhaven, where he had two awesome seasons (averaging 7.88 over 49 games). Valued at $1.1 million, and has 2 caps and 1 goal at age 24. Let's put it this way.. if he ever comes available for my Revs, I will play whatever I can to get him in a Revs uniform. A really tough marking defender.
O'Brien never really got his career untracked from all the injuries he suffered earlier in his career, now at 31, he's a left side sub for the US, although he has played consistently for Dutch 2nd division side RKC, he may be past it for national team purposes. Has 44 caps, 3 goals, (including a famous one in the USA's 3-2 surprise win over Portugal at the 2002 WC). (valued at $45K)
Mastroeni's been shackled to a pretty bad team in Colorado the last few years, and this is his last go round, as he's 32. He will provide depth, but the young up and comers know that his spot is available to take. (Valued at $130K)
The Pool has a couple really good players available.. Mastroeni's teammate Tim Ward is learning quickly. 20 year old Nik Besagno will be in the US side for 2010 and beyond if we make it, (Valued at 2.7 million despite playing for Real Salt Lake), Gibson is also fairly young (24) and plays well for DC United (grr), and there's some other decent/short term players in defense as well, like Victorine, and Brian Carroll
((Ok, i'm wiped out. Midfielders and strikers when I can gather the energy, which may be tonight or later))
11-28-2005, 08:33 AM
Sounds great. Best of luck with the national team.
11-29-2005, 05:12 AM
BTW, someone sent me a PM asking where the Dynasty's title came from. After the shock 3-2 upset of Portugal at the 2002 World Cup, in the USA's first game there, ESPN announcer Jack Edwards came up with this line..
"Mine eyes have seen the glory! The United States has shocked Portugal! Game over! 3-2! Final!"
Ok.. off to cover the midfielders:
On The Team: Landon Donovan, DeMarcus Beasley, Danny Szetela, Clint Dempsey(Starters), Bobby Convey, Pat Noonan, Michael Bradley,
In the Pool: Greg Brown (U23), John Allen (U23), Eddie Gaven, Jason Thompson, Kyle Martino
Donovan is iffy for the Gold Cup, I don't think he'll be ready in time to play in the matches (we are 11 days from the start of the Gold Cup, and he has a hip injury with an out time of 2 weeks to a month). I think Fiorentina, the Italian Serie-A side who owns his rights, his somewhat glad for that.. they are currently 12th in Serie A, Has 37 goals for the US and 94 caps. Valued at nearly 10 Million Dollars.
Beasley is not having a great year for Espanyol, (14 appearances, 1 goal, no assists, 6.64 rating), But I think he'll do better for us. Has 13 goals in his 67 caps, and will feature on one side of our attack in the run uo to WC2010. Which one, we're still figuring out. Valued at $5.25 Million
Szetela has only one cap for the US, but at only age 21, has a long fruitful career in front of him. We currently have him peged as our defensive midfielder. Got traded to FC Dallas at the end of 2005, and has played at least 24 games for Dallas every year since. Valued at 2.6 Million
Dempsey (another former Rev, I'm so proud ;)) plays for EPL side Ipswich. They're not happy about giving him out for a couple weeks due to the fact they are currently in a relegation dog fight (18th in the EPL), but not much they can do. Dempsey has become a pretty good player, starting 22 games for Ipswich, with a rating of 7.05. The 25 year old has 33 caps, and 3 goals. Currently, the plan is to start him on the left side, and let Beasley play the right side. His versatility is a plus, the only positions not lit up on his positions meter, is DC, Sweeper and Goalie. Wow. Valued at $6.25 Million
Convey is restricted where Dempsey is versatile, he's a left side midfielder and that's it.. but that's ok, because he's a pretty good one. He plays for English Championship side Reading, where he has 2 goals and 6 assists in 31 games (7.19 Rating), Valued at $2.7 Million. Has 49 Caps and 1 goal for the US.
Noonan.. well.. I hate what Toulouse has done with him, putting him in the reserves and transfer listing him because they don't want to pay me $650K when he scores his next goal. He's now valued at $3 million, and can play right side of midfield or striker if need be. Has 1 US goal in 27 games.
Bradley is the son of ex-Metrostars (and now Colorado) manager Bob Bradley, He's got limited experience, only 1 cap with the US, but can take over midfield or defensive midfield as needed. Valued at $600K, and still plays for the Mutts. A capable backup, but at 21, he has time to grow.
The pool you would think looks weak, Brown and Allen, while good for MLS rookies, are not quite USA caliber, and right now, Martino is an emergency callup only. Thompson is good, but we have many players that flit back and forth between midfield and attack, so we're fine here, but yeah, we're looking for some help from younger players to stand up and prove themselves worthy.
11-29-2005, 05:32 AM
On the Team: Taylor Twellman, Freddy Adu (Starters), Eddie Johnson, Conor Casey, Nate Jaqua, Josh Wolff
In the Pool: Chad Barrett, Quavas Kirk, Jason Thompson, Brian Ching
Twellman has hit it big woth Dortmund in the Bundesliga this year, with 15 goals in 28 games, including 5 in the UEFA Cup. Has 14 Goals for the USA in 32 games, and is a pretty good finisher. He's only 28, so he MIGHT get one more run in qualifying, but 2010 will probably be his last WC run. Valued at $6.5 Million dollars.
Adu, well.. the kid's now 19.. and he has six caps and 1 goal for the USA. He's honestly the real deal for Vicenza. Has great dribbling and first touch skills.. he might drop back to the attacking midfield role with Donovan likely out for the Gold Cup. A pretty good finisher too. Worth every penny of his $11.25 Million valuation.
Johnson didn't play much for Real Betis this year, and is moving to French Ligue 1 side Sedan at the end of the year. May not be game fit till the later rounds due to his inactivity, which stinks, because at 24, he still nearly averages a goal a game in the red white and blue, with 25 goals in 28 games. He'll be in the mix, definitely.
Casey left the Revs to join Bayern Leverkusen, and he stands to make us a couple million dollars, as he has 8 goals in 15 games for the Bundesliga powerhouse (We get the $2 million after ten goals). Valued at $6 million, and has 1 goal in 15 caps. The time with the Revs seems to have done him well.
Jaqua's last year's MLS Scoring champion with an awe inspiring TWENTY SEVEN goals (and 10 assists!) in 30 games for the Fire, which earned him a call up ontot he squad for the Gold Cup (he has no caps for the USA). Likely will start at least one of the group stage games.. Great at Jumping and Heading, maybe a good target man in the box for any crosses our midfielders can create. Valued at $5million
Wolff: This is the last run for the 2 time MVP as a Rev. I don't think he'll be on the WC side if/when we make it.. he's 31, and it's harder for him to get up to national level speed. Valued at $650K, and has 47 caps and 10 goals.
In the Pool, we have Quavas Kirk. The 20 year old has 8 goals in 9 U20/21 games, and plays for the LA Galaxy. Phenom. Not quite Freddy level, but he's going to force his way onto the squad sooner rather then later. Barrett, Thompson and King are decent national team players, so we really have an embarrasment of riches here.
11-29-2005, 06:14 AM
it comes time to select the roster for the Gold Cup, and Donovan still could miss the whole thing, so he is dropped, and we need to drop two more players to get down to the Gold Cup Limit of 22, and Mastroeni and Michael Bradley are the other two.
11-29-2005, 06:31 AM
Ok. I wipe out. Time to try to write a bit of the reviews I owe Sack, and then more sleep.
11-29-2005, 08:32 AM
Great work so far Fozzie. I'll be reading.
11-29-2005, 12:23 PM
Def. reading this and the Revs!
11-29-2005, 02:23 PM
Is their any promising talent created post start of game, or does the MLS draft produce squat and 20 years down the road the US will suck?
11-29-2005, 09:40 PM
There's some pretty decent talent, Blade, no Freddys or anything yet, but the team in the olympics had two revs who are turning out pretty good..
The one problem is, you probably won't see any young phenoms like a Freddy again, because all the players generated by the draft are 20-22. Of course, there's the factor that some old about to retire players get put in the draft too, but hopefully that will be patched.
The 2009 Gold Cup kicks off with Mexico taking on Puerto Rico, and in a shock result, Simon Pedro Artero Gallardo's 67th minute penalty is enough to earn the Puerto Ricans a 1-1 draw with Mexico, in a game that Los Tricolores dominated (63% of possession), but they could not turn that into the expected rout.
The press remark that Pablo Mastroeni and Eddie Gaven were left out of the roster, but we are expected to have a glut of goals against the Bermudans. Bocanegra does the commenting for me, saying that we cannot take them TOO lightly, even if we are prohibitive favorites.
Gold Cup, Group B, Game 1: vs Bermuda
Odds: USA 1-33, Draw 6-1, Bermuda 50-1
Subs: Guzan, Bocanegra, Convey, Wolff, Cherundolo, O'Brien, Noonan
Key moments in the game:
9: Freddy Adu's header skims the top of the bar. Nice cross by Beasley
11: Adu's sliding tackle knocks the ball out to Twellman, who touches it over to Johnson, who fires a shot right from the edge of the box, however Bermudan goalie Dean Bennett turns it away.
24: Twellman, finds Adu from 12 yards out, but Bennett denies him as well.
We're playing a bit tenative, so I tell the team to up the attack
25: We think we have the opener when Twellman heads home a Dempsey cross, however it's ruled out for offsides.
29: It's bouncing around just outside the Bermudan box. They try to clear it.. but Adu traps it, finds Twellman, 20 yards out.. shoots.. GOAL! Twellman puts the US up, 1-0!
31: Adu gets in close, but just can't get his head to the cross from Beasley, and when it's volleyed back in, Eddie Johnson is off sides.
34: Beasley's cross finds Dempsey in PRIME position.. but Dempsey can only head it just wide.
37: It's a near replay, as Adu gets the ball about 30 yards out, and puts a through ball that Twellman strikes.. unfortunately this time it goes wide.
43: USA on a counter.. Parkhurst dribbling forward.. LONG ball ahead to the onrushing Adu.. touches it past the goalie.. and what would have been Freddy's 2nd international goal is ruled out for offisdes. Grr.. Great play by all involved, just Freddy took off a fraction of a second too soon.
45 (2nd Minute stoppage), Cort's shot for Bermuda is well wide, won't trouble Timmy Howard at all.
Halftime, 1-0. We've outshot them 8-1 (not counting the 2 disallowed goals)
One change at halftime.. we start rotating strikers, bringing in Josh Wolff for Eddie Johnson.
50: Szetela is booked for a foul on Anthony Thomas, the injured Thomas can't continue and comes off for Gareth John.
57: Parkhurst hits a looping ball into the box for Twellman, but Taylor's header is just wide.
60: Gibbs hits a free kick from about 40 yards out, and Wolff heads it.. but Bennett touches it JUST over the bar for a corner.
65: Beasley heads a clearance down to Dempsey, who finds Twellman, Twellman loses the ball for a moment, but fights and gets it back and has a step on the defender.. into the box.. and puts it into the net from an acute angle! GOAL USA, 2-0, and Twellman's 2nd of the day!
66: John O'Brien comes on for Danny Szetela, our 2nd substitution
72: Twellman gets the ball deep, but he's too far wide to take it in towards the net, so he knocks it back across to Michael Parkhurst, whose shot flashes wide of net.
73: USA's final substitution, Adu off for Bobby Convey.
75: They change out their strikers, who haven't done much of anything, in an attempt to find some offense somewhere.
84: Wolff gets the ball about 35 meters out and sees the Bermuda goalie off his line, and attempts to chip him, but Bennet gets back well enough to tip it over the bar.
90: (2nd minute of stoppage), Twellman again crosses for Parkhurst, but his shot is at too wide an angle and Bennett covers it.
Final, a 2-0 win for the USA. Twellman got man of the match with a 9 for his 2 goals. Jonathan Spector had a 9 as well, marshalling our defense. Everyone else had 7's and 8's.
In other action today, in Group A, El Slavador had a 2-0 win over Anguila, and Brazil thrashed the British Virgin Islands, 5-0.
The fans wanted more goals, and I don't blame them, but we did have two disallowed, and one of them really was a iffy call if you ask me :)
11-29-2005, 09:42 PM
Puerto Rico becomes the first team to officially qualify for the quarter finals by defeating Belize 1-0, which now means that Mexico must secure at least a draw against the CONCACF minnows to advance, if Belize somehow wins.. that means that one of the two CONCACAF powers would be knocked out in the group stage.
We only have two days between the first group game and the 2nd group game, this time against Honduras. We are expected to win comfortbaly, the press states that the Honduran attack could give us problems, and that midfielder-forward Suazo (who plays for the United Arab Emirates team Al-Ain) will be the Honduran player to watch.
Since the Bermudan win made it pretty easy for us to make the quarterfinals, we decide to rest many of the starters from Saturday's game.
Gold Cup 2009, Group B, 2nd game: Vs Honduras
Odds: Honduras 7-1, Draw: 3-1, USA 1-3
GK: Almadon (officially tying him to the USA)
FC: Jaqua (First cap)
Subs: Guzan, Gibbs, Adu, Twellman, Onyewu, Szetela, Beasley
1: Convey picks up an early yellow
12: Convey finds Wolff, just outside the box, to the left of the bet, His shot is blocked out for a corner.
15: Gerson Baca booked for a foul on Convey
19: Wolff finds Dempsey charging at the net.. his shot is parried wide of net by Honduran keeper Donis Escobar
23: Noonan beats two players wide, and a third, but shoots, and it's easily saved. Nice play, however.
32: Honduras's forward Romel Murillo is booked for tugging the shirt of Bocanegra
35: A corner to Honduras, taken by Suazo, Almadon fails to come off his line and Gerson Baca heads it back.. and into the net.. 0-1. Not a great play by Almadon.
37: Bocanegra comes back and finds Wolff with a diving header.. just wide.
42: Jaqua booked for a bad foul, and off the ensuing free kick, Almadon makes the save off the Honduran set-piece, fairly easy save.
44: Murillo's touched on header finds Suazo.. he stuffs it home.. 0-2. Wow. The Commentary blames Parkhurst for not clearing it.
Down 2-0 at the break. I tell them all, they're letting the team down, their letting the nation down.. and most importantly, they're letting each other down. We have a lot to do to save this one.
I make two changes at the break. Convey's off, Freddy Adu will take his spot. Nate Jaqua also comes off for Taylor Twellman. I go back to what worked for the Bermudan game. Dempsey on the left side, Adu at the attacking midfield spot. I also tell the guys to attack. If we want back into this game, we'll have to earn it.
48: Suazo's 35 yard shot is well wide.
53: Honduran midfielder Julio Cesar Leon is booked for a rough challenge.
54: Honduras on the counter attack, and Murillio dives.. and the ref buys it. It's a penalty. Leon will take it.. and makes it. 3-0 Honduras. Bullshit call, but not much you can do about it. After the goal, Murillio heads to the bench, and Gutierrez comes on. Good idea. We were going to give him something to dive about.
59: Some good action here, even with Honduras bunkering, we cross it over their heads a couple times before Noonan's shot goes just wide. Nice to see the attack's woken up, however.
62: Dempsey with a long pass, Twellman and the Honduran dfender jostling for it, Twellman nearly loses his balance, but picks it up, one on one with the goalie.. but it gets called back for a foul on Twellman. ¿Quién tiene su padre, árbitro? (in other words, who's your father, ref?)
67: Twellman gets a header.. off the post! rebound comes right back to him.. THIS TIME IT'S IN! 3-1...
68: They bring off Amado Guevara and Julio Cesar Leon and bring on Carlos Roberto Flores, and Dnilo Turcios.
75: a Cross from Bocanegra finds Dempsey, but his diving header is saved.
76: They add a fourth through a breakaway from Flores, 4-1. Sheesh.
90: And to add insult to injury, John O'Brien puts one past his own keeper. 5-1, and our humiliation is complete.
93: Oh, NOW our humiliation is complete. Cherundolo turns Ugly American and kicks a Honduran player and gets sent off.
94: Full time.
Parkhurst, a 4.
All the other starters besides Almadon a 5
Almadon a 6.
Twellman gets a 7.
That ends the Play the Subs idea.
The fans are surprisingly positive, saying the only difference was that they made their chances and we didn't convert ours.
Cherundolo is suspended for our next game. Fortunately, Honduras beats Bermuda 3-1, and we're through to the quarter finals.
11-29-2005, 09:43 PM
The Quarter Finals are set:
El Salvador vs USA
Honduras vs Costa Rica
Puerto Rico vs Canada
Brazil vs Mexico
I like this. :D
11-29-2005, 11:04 PM
We have six days off between games, so we have plenty of rest before the knockout stage.
Most players had 8 days of rest if they didn't play in the Honduras nightmare.
Gold Cup QuarterFinal vs El Salvador
El Salvador 15-1, Draw 11-2, USA 1-10
Subs: Guzan, Marshall, O'Brien, Wolf, Bocanegra, Noonan, Casey
7: Howard turns an Alvarez shot over the bar.
9: Alvarez called for offsides
11: Convey has a shot from the 18, saved, rebound to Twellman.. tipped past the post. On
the corner, Onyewu's header from a very acute angle is wide.
17: Twellman is fouled just outside the 18 (there were calls for a penalty but the ref made
a good spot). Beaskey will take the free kick.. Over the wall... AND IN! Not much curve on
it, but it was hard and placed well, and it's in the net! 1-0 USA! (our first Non-Twellman
goal of the Gold Cup!)
19: Adu checks back slightly, receives the pass.. draws the double team... THROUGH ball to
Twellman.. one on one... GOAL, USA! Twellman's FOURTH of the Gold Cup!, it's a 3 minute
double shot for the USA, 2-0!
21: This time Twellman checks back, crosses for Adu, touched for Beasley.. HE PUTS IT HOME!
5 minutes, 3 goals, and the USA are up 3-0!
26: Twellman's shot is saved, nearly another goal. there's only one team in it right now...
29: A defensive lapse by Onyewu puts Alvarez one on one with Howard.. but Howard stones him
as he attempted to fire it low!
30: Alvarez shoots wide.
32: Erazo for El Salvador is booked for pushing Beasley.
33: Alvarez (I'm saying that name alot, aren't I?) Shoots over the bar.
35: Twellman's long range header is wide, but not by much.
Halftime, and we're cruising 3-0. Howard has a 9. I'm pleased but cautious. Alvarez has
nearly burned us a couple times. They've out shot us, 10-8, but we have five on target (and
three goals) to 4 for them (and no goals ;))
47: Alas takes a long shot which is well wide.
58: Alas takes a 35 yard shot, hoping to surprise Howard, but Howard gets over to it, and
parries it, Parkhurst clears.
67 : We make two subs: O'Brien on for Dempsey (M L), and Wolff on for Convey (Wolff SC, Adu
71: O'Brien heads it down for Twellman, who attempts a drive from 30 yards out, but it's
high and wide. They bring on two subs.
81: El Salvador is forced to use their third sub on an injury.
86: O'Brien frees Wolff with a long pass down the left side, but Wolff's cross is too
close, and the El Salvador goalie gets to it an instant before Twellman can.
A 3-0 Final. Howard, Gibbs have 9's, most of the rest of the team have 8's. Howard gets man of the Match. (and he deserved it)
Quarter Final Results:
Costa Rica beats Honduras on Penalties after a 1-1 draw.
USA 3-0 over El Salvador
Brazil 2-1 Over Mexico in Extra Time
Canada 3-0 over Puerto Rico
The Semi Finals:
Canada v Brazil
Costa Rica vs USA (the defacto CONCACAF championship, assuming Brazil wins)
11-30-2005, 09:26 AM
North American Gold Cup SEMIFINALS vs Costa Rica
Again, we're comfortable favorites, although their right winger Cristian Bolanos is singled out as a threat. Carlos Bocanegra keeps us grounded, saying that we need to remain completely focused. I agree with him, of course ;)
We have three days rest in between games, so fatigue may be a factor. Cherundolo got an extra two games on his suspension, so he is done for the tourney.
Odds: Costa Rica 9-2, Draw 13-5, USA 1-2 (FAV)
Our lineup for the semifinal:
Subs: Guzan, marshall, Szetela, Wolff, Bocanegra, Convey, Casey.
9: A Dempsey Freekick gets partially deflected by the wall, and bounces out to the side to Onyewu, who takes a long shot, but it's saved and cleared.
17: A turnover leads to a counter attack, Beasley takes a long shot, hoping to force a rebound to the onrushing Twellman, but it's wide to the right.
21: Noonan crosses, but overshoots, and Adu has to track it down, he touches it back to the middle and fires.. well wide.
23: Beasley needs some medical attention from the Physio after a collision with Costa Rica's Martinez, but he'll continue.
28: A fluke deflection sends the Ticos forward on a counter, and Parks gets free.. I didn't see who was on him, but it was 1 on 1, and this time it wasn't Howard's day, and Parks slots it home under Howard's diving save attempt. 1-0 Costa Rica.
36: Noonan crosses back to O'Brien, who's just out side the 18, but he's not a pinpoint shooter, and it goes well wide.
41: Gomez just kicks and hopes from 30 yards out for Costa Rica, not a chance. Well wide of net.
45: Beasley has a free kick, deep on the left side, and it comes into Onyewu , who's header.. hits the woodwork.. argh.
down 1-0 at half. Beasley is at 67%.. I'd like to leave him in for a few minutes in the 2nd half, but maybe a change would help out, and getting a fresh face out there certainly couldn't hurt. Casey in for Beasley. Adu drops back to cover Beasley's AMC role. The halftime commentary stated that the USA were dominating, and were unfortunate to be behind, and we really have, outshooting them 9-4, but only 1 shot of 9 was on net. You can't win if you shoot like that. They've been dirty bastards so far, fouling us 13 times, to 3 for us. But no yellows on either side.
49: Parkhurst tracks down the ball on the sideline.. finds Casey with the long ball... Case could have gone for goal, but he nods it down for Twellman... who SLAMS IT HOME! 1-1! Twellman's FIFTH goal of the competition!
51: Parkhurst with the Free Kick, and he finds Casey.. header.. JUST over the net.. On the resulting goal kick, Spector with a nice header down to Twellman, who flicks it on... Casey.. AN INCREDIBLE GOAL! 2-1 USA, and two goals in 3 minutes!
53: Dempsey on the left side.. cross for Twellman.. header.. saved by Ivan Garcia, just barely. wow.. corner kick, but it doesn't amount to much.
55: Twellman ranging back, covering for Noonan, ball ahead to Noonan, shot.. just high.. but we're really pressuring for a third here.
57: Castro for Costa Rica.. crosses for Gomez.. SAVED by Howard. We still lead!
64: Parks goes for Glory, but is well covered by O'Brien and the shot is well wide.
65: We make our second substitution. Noonan (65%) comes off, for Danny Szetela (who didn't start because he wasn't fully fit (82%), but he's good enough for 25 more minutes.
70: They make some changes, hoping to get that elusive second goal. Amongst the subs coming on, Costa Rican legend, Paulo Wanchope
76: Parkhurst, long ball into the mixer.. Casey........ SAVED by Garcia. That could have clinched it! On the Resulting corner, Onyewu's header is ill-advised from a narrow angle and it goes into the side netting.
77: Adu with the goal kick interception.. runs forward.. to Twellman.. over the net.
78: They make their final substitution.
82: We become more defensive, not only tactically, but formation wise, as we bring Twellman off and Carlos Bocanegra comes on. We're in a 5-4-1 formation with our midfielders in a diamond.
84: O'Brien with the free kick, and from 25 yards out, it's obvious they're expecting a shot.. instead, he passes to Bocanegra, who shoots... and Garcia makes a diving stop. Man... Dempsey gets to the rebound out wide, but his cross is too deep and goes out for a goal kick.
87: Howard comes out to control a dangerous Costa Rican cross and he frees Adu and Wolff, two on one.. Wolff gets caught up in the defender and tries to slot it to Adu, Adu is free.. but he's also offsides... arrrrrghhhhhhhh.
89: O'Brien's free kick from wide on the right side.. Onyewu's header.. wide. He's had numerous opportunities, but can't put one home. Costa Rica is throwing everything forward they have.
90: Goal kick by Costa Rica.. kicked around midfield for a bit.. intercepted by Szetela.. LONG ball for Casey.. one on one with keeper.. IT'S IN! IT'S IN! There's the clincher, and USA lead 3-1 in injury time!
93: The final whistle goes, and the USA is through to the final! Casey, who came on as a sub in the 2nd half, gets a 9, Twellman, Gibbs and Freddy Adu get 8's.. everyone else gets 7's.
The halftime substiution of Casey was the difference, two goals and the assist on the third. We out shot them 23-7, with 10 of our shots being on net.
We'll take on Brazil in the Gold Cup Final, 2 goals in the final half hour sinking Canada 2-0.
Anyway, off to work to see what I missed in the last week.
11-30-2005, 07:58 PM
We have three days off before the final, hopefully our guys will be ready. Brazil are a monster team. They won this tourney back in 2007, the same year they won the Copa America, finished third in the last World Cup, and won the last Olympic Games.
They don't bring ALL their stars to the Gold Cup, but the ones they do are scary.. like Rafael Sorbis of Barcelona, 23 years old, has 3 caps and 1 goal, but is valued at 16.5 Million, or Roma's Procellis, who only has 5 caps for them (all in the Gold Cup), but is valued at 21 MILLION dollars)
Their defense is led by 30 year old Lucio, who has 78 caps for Brazil, and plays for Bayern Munich, and is valued at a cool $26.5 Million. Their star midfielder is Mancini, who is valued at $30 million. He plays on the right side.
So we're in trouble. We can win, but we are definitely not the favorite.
North American Gold Cup FINAL: Vs Brazil
Odds: USA 7-2, Draw 9-4, Brazil 4-6
Subs: Guzan, Marshall, Convey, Johnson, Beasely (at 91%, not quite fit to start, but will come on in the 2nd half, if not at halftime), Bocanegra, Wolff
Ere we go.
5: Szetela frees Casey with a long ball, one on one..Marcel Grohe (the backup Brazillian keeper, the starter is not game fit due to injury) parries the shot well though.
16: Twellman heads the ball down to Adu, who's got a good chance as he advances toward the net, but his final touch is a bit too far out in front and Marcel Grohe makes the save.
36: Szetela's shot is high and wide. We're having the better of play, however.
39: Casey's free in the area, but Marcel Grohe is playing like the star of the game, and gets his fingertips to it on a diving save.
41: Adu had a chance to break free, but Lucio uses his body well and runs the youngster off the ball.
42: Twellman's header is over the bar.
45 (2nd Minute Stoppage)..Fernando Genro has a rare chance for Brazil, not close to target though.
Halftime in the final. 0-0, and the USA's really been the better team.
We bring in DeMarcus Beasley. He moves to the left side of midfield. Dempsey moves to AMC, and Adu moves forward, Conor Casey coming out.
50: Betinho shoots, and it takes a deflection off of Spector, and Howard saves it. That's the kind of bounce that usually goes against me in finals. So that's good.
60: Betinho found Juninho Pernambucano, just outside the 18.. but is shot is well high.
61: Rafael Sorbis on for Betinho (which I like, despite how good Rafael Sorbis is, Betinho's been having a good game.), and Ewerthon is off for Anderson.
66: Our first booking, as Mancini is booked for persistent infringement. USA make their 2nd substitution, Eddie Johnson on for the tired Freddy Adu.
70: Juninho Pernambucano hits the half volley on a bouncing ball, but Howard makes the save.
80: Rafael Sorbis has it.. beats Gibbs, and cuts inside.. Howard takes one or two steps out, but Rafael Sorbis sees that Onyewu has the angle on him and lets fly. What a shot, ticketed for the top corner. Impossible to save.. but somehow Howard gets to it in a WONDERFUL save. Rafael Sorbis had already half turned, and just sank to his knees, disbelieving.
90: Dede is injured and needs medical attention
90 (4th minute stoppage time): Johnson is hurt, and he's trying to run it off, but I don't think he will be able to. But luckily, the whistle blows, and we're into extra time.
I consult with the trainers for most of Extra Time, and we realize that Johnson is pretty much out of it, (53% condition), so he comes off for Wolff..
Off to extra time. The two teams are tired, and they play REALLY defensively.
105: End of the first half of extra time.
108: Wolff with the free kick, from about 25-30 yards out. He's got fresh legs, so we're hoping.. but it's over the bar.
114: Rafael Sobis gets one final shot off, but Spector charges it down and the ball bounces to Howard.
120: End of Extra time.
We are headed to the Russian Roulette of penalties. I can't bear to watch.
11-30-2005, 08:09 PM
Brazil get the "privilege" of going first in the shootout.
Anderson goes first..... sends Howard the wrong way. 0-1.
Beasley's the first USA shooter. Right down the middle, and Marcel Grohe can't kick his foot back to stop it. Cheeky. 1-1.
Juninho Pernambucano.. Howard guesses right, but the shot is placed well. 1-2.
John O'Brien.. the Gritty veteran... Marcel Grohe goes the wrong way. 2-2.
Gladstone next for the Brazillians. Off the Post.. and in. Shit. 2-3.
Taylor Twellman.. TnT.. Dynamite. Blasted home. 3-3.
Rafinha.. Howard's frozen. Wouldn't have got there anyway. 3-4.
Pressure situation for Wolff then.. Top Corner. Unstoppable. 4-4.
Lucio, the veteran defender.. scuffed it slightly, but it rolls in, Howard went the other way. 4-5.
All up to Clint Dempsey. He scores, we go to round 6. He misses.. it's over. Steps up.. MONEY. right into the inside of the net. Lower Left corner. 5-5. This battle must continue!
Diego is Brazil's sixth shooter.. but he misfired! Howard gets down to the left, and makes the save!
It all comes down to Danny Szetela. That's a lot of weight on a 21 year old kid. He looks over the nearly 80,000 in Arrowhead stadium.. then reaches down and places the ball on the spot. Marcel Grohe tries to pull a little gamesmanship, complaining to the ref the ball's too far forward. The ref humors him, moving the ball BACK a quarter of an inch.
Two steps back.
The whistle blows.
Two steps forward.
Foot to ball..
The hush turns to turn into a roar..
The sound of ball rustling into nylon..
And then BEDLAM.
Waist high to the left, Marcel Grohe went right. Ball game. 6-5 USA.
The USA's first championship in seven years.
11-30-2005, 08:22 PM
CONGRATS!!!!!! Great game!!!
11-30-2005, 09:18 PM
CONGRATS!!!!!! Great game!!!
Thanks Blade. I was too worried to really enjoy it (you've seen my record in finals so far in the other thread :D).. but it was a really good game. We had more possession, the same amout of shots, and played even with them. Ronaldinho was injured, and I'm not sure they would have brough him with them for the Gold Cup, but I'll definitely take it.
The fans love me right now, saying that I've brought a new energy to the team, and that they thought I could take them far.
The US Soccer heads agree, and thank me for taking the team on such short notice into a competition, and are confident that a win over such a big team as Brazil can only provide a boost to American soccer.
Chad Marshall, who didn't get to play much, praised me, stating that the USA owed me a debt of gratitude, and that he hoped I would be the USA manager for many years to come. I like that idea, Chad.
11-30-2005, 10:12 PM
One consequence from the Gold Cup win, I now have a national reputation. Good.
Unfortunately, we have 0 time to celebrate, as four days after the end of the Gold Cup, we start the final phase of CONCACAF's World Cup Qualifiers, against Panama. The game is in Panama, and promises to be a scorcher (close to 90 degrees).
Thankfully, after the Panama game, I'll be able to spend some time with the Revs and get them ready for the season. :)
The Press want a goalfest (all ours, none theirs) and Freddy Adu agrees, saying that coming off the Gold Cup win, USA confidence was high and there would be nothing better then runnin up a number against Panama. Nice to see Freddy's gums flap in FM2006 as well as real life ;)
Thank goodness it's against Panama, the effects of the Gold Cup final are still with us, there's a couple guys whose butts will really be dragging by the end of the game.
2/4/09: CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying, Final Phase, Round 1: At Panama
Odds: Panama 15-1, Draw 11-2, USA 1-10
MR: Cherundolo (back from suspension)
Subs: Howard, Bocanegra, Convey, Noonan, Szetela, Dempsey, Wolff.
3: Cherundolo intercepts a potential Panama counter, and runs at the defense.. beating one player.. then crossing.. Twellman rises.. header... GOAL USA 1-0!!
7: Tejada's header for Panama is well wide.
9: Gomez with the freekick for Panama.. Guzan makes a good save.
13: Twellman nearly doubles the lead, but Zambrano deflects it clear.
22: Cherundolo fouls Blanco, but Gomez's free kick is both high and wide.
27: Tejada's through one on one with Guzan, but El Guzano saves the day, deflecting it wide. On the resulting corner, Solanilla hit it hard, but not well, and it's well wide.
31: Two shots in two minutes, from Adu and Casey, both both players headers are high and off target.
32: Onyewu's header off a corner off yet another USA attack is saved by Zambrano.
34: More pressure from the USA, but again, we can't hit the target, as Casey was free, but his header went over. We're showing fatigue here offensively.
43: Corner kick to the USA, Cherundolo lifts it.. Onyewu... HEADS IT IN! Onyewu's header puts the USA up 2-0.. and finally a goal for Gooch (he's had so many headers from bad angles, I thought he'd NEVER score)
45: (2nd minute Injury Time) Gibbs picks up a Panama clearance and works it back in.. lays it off for Adu.. Adu fakes the through ball, gets some space, turns, fires.. takes a deflection off a Panama defender and IN THE NET! Adu officially gets credit for the goal, and it's 3-0 USA.
45: (4th minute Injury): Guzan makes a finger tip save off a shot deflected off O'Brien.
Halftime, 3-0. Adu off for Convey, and Szetela on for O'Brien. I tell the boys to slow it down, and they do so.
47: Guzan gets down quickly and stops a Panama attack by Jose Juan.
55: Zambrano parrys a Cherundolo left foot volley
62: Solanilla's freekick is high and wide
65: Perez's header looks like it's in the net, but swerves wide.
75: A Perez header takes the opposite route, looking well wide, but deflecting of Spector and in. No chance for Guzan. 3-1.
76: Beasley off for Noonan.
86: Gooch (Onyewu) blocks a shot
90 (3rd minute of Injury time) Guzan is fast off his line and gets to a pass an instant before the Panamanian attacker.
3-1 final. Beasley is Man of the Match with a 9. Onyewu gets a 9, 7's and 8's the rest of the way (except for Noonan, who was only at a 6, but was playing out of position).
Interesting results in the other two WCQ in Round 1, Mexico beat group minnows Haiti 3-1, and in a semi-upset, Trinidad and Tobago defeated Costa Rica 2-1 in Costa Rica!
Thank goodness for six weeks off before our next USA World Cup Qualifiers, even if it's two of the tougher opponents as we get Los Tricolores of Mexico at home, and then at Costa Rica.
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